West Kelowna  

Chairlift crash report

Just under 16 months after a terrifying chairlift collapse injured four people on Crystal Mountain, the B.C. Safety Authority has released its conclusions and recommendations.

On March 1, 2014, a cable from the chairlift reportedly came loose, sending three chairs careening into a tower before crashing to the ground.

Three of those injured worked at the mountain, including two members of the ski patrol and one ski instructor. The fourth person injured was a 45-year-old who was taking lessons.

BCSA’s report includes seven recommendations to prevent further occurrences.

“This incident can be attributed to a number of contributing factors, which is why we have made seven improvement recommendations including an important recommendation towards the development of a Passenger Ropeway Mechanic Certification Program in B.C.,” says Jason Gill, BCSA’s safety manager of passenger ropeways and amusement devices.

The authority determined the primary cause of the incident was low tension within the haul-rope system, directly caused by the counterweight being in contact with the ground.

Contributing factors according to the BCSA also include: condition and malfunction of the tensioning system, configuration of the rope-catching device installed at the tower where the deropement occurred, operator understanding of haul-rope and tensioning system conditions and dynamics, and placement of the tower that experienced the deropement relative to other towers and the loading area.

The BCSA is now working with industry, manufacturers and certifying agencies to look toward implementing its recommendations. 

A number of instructions were also provided to Crystal Mountain, which must be completed in order to resume operation – work the BCSA says has not yet been done.

“Crystal Mountain’s operating permits will be reinstated only once BCSA is satisfied that the resort’s ski lifts meet all required safety standards,” writes the BCSA.

You can read the entire report, including recommendations, here.

For past stories on the chairlift collapse click here.


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